RDU Airport’s Impact on North Carolina: $17 Billion to Regional Economy and 85,000 Jobs Supported

RDU Airport’s Impact on North Carolina: $17 Billion to Regional Economy and 85,000 Jobs Supported

NCDOT Report: Airport Generates $887 Million in State, Local Taxes

Morrisville, NC, 2023-Jan-12 — /Travel PR News/ — A new report published today (January 9, 2023) finds that Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) contributes more than $17 billion to central and eastern North Carolina’s economy and supports more than 85,000 local and regional jobs.

The report, “North Carolina: The State of Aviation” – produced by the N.C. Department of Transportation Division of Aviation – also finds that RDU generates more than $887 million in state and local taxes and $5.4 billion in personal income.

“Despite the lingering economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, RDU has proven itself as a major economic engine for North Carolina and the region the airport serves,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “RDU’s significant contributions to the regional workforce and tax base underscore the importance of realizing the airport’s growth plans, as we prepare for continued economic expansion in the bustling Research Triangle region.”

As part of the report, N.C. State University’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) analyzed data from 2021, the most recent year complete data is available, to determine the economic impact of North Carolina’s 72 public service airports. The commercial service airport analysis quantified the impacts of leisure and business travelers to North Carolina and business travelers from North Carolina, on-airport contributions and the impact of airport capital projects and operations.

Airports support the economy directly through jobs at airlines, rental car companies, cleaning services, food, hospitality and retail businesses and airport security providers. Expenditures from airports support construction and engineering firms, facility maintenance and operations services, and building and grounds upkeep. There is an additional economic impact from business and leisure travelers, including spending on lodging, food, beverage and dining, entertainment, shopping, gifts and souvenirs. Airports also support businesses by helping them sell to new markets and grow and expand their operations.

The NCDOT report finds that RDU contributes:

  • $17,012,380,000 in economic output
  • $5,449,640,000 in personal income
  • $887,725,000 in state and local taxes
  • 85,460 jobs


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SOURCE: Raleigh-Durham International Airport